There was no luck for Arizona State against Notre Dame. The Irish defense had six sacks on quarterback Taylor Kelly and would force three turnovers and go on to the 37-34 victory over the Sun Devils in the Shamrock Series at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. With the loss, ASU falls to 3-2 on the season.
“Their defensive coordinator and defensive staff did a tremendous job,” head coach Todd Graham said. “I thought it was the difference in the game. This was an opportunity for us to win on a national stage and to come in and turn the ball over three times was the difference in the game. That’s about how simple it was.”
Taylor Kelly went up top to De’Marieya Nelson to knot the score at 27. But the Irish would score their final ten points of the game including a fifteen yard interception return by Dan Fox with just over a minute to go.
Osahon Irabor returned a Tommy Rees interception 36 yards for a score to start the 4th quarter making the score 24-20 Irish.
The Sun Devils luck started to fade during the 3rd quarter when wide receiver Richard Smith, who’s been a huge disappointment, fumbled deep in his own territory after a reception. The Irish converted with a TD catch to extend the Notre Dame lead to 24-13.
The Irish did a nice job of controlling the clock in the first half of the game holding ASU to just under 13 minutes time of possession and only 34 offensive plays.
“We knew Arizona State had a really good offense and could put up some points,” Rees explained after throwing for 279 yards and three touchdowns. “So limiting their opportunities to go out there and score ultimately helps our defense with ball control. I thought we did a good job of keeping their high-powered offense off the field.”
The Sun Devils return to Pac-12 South play next weekend when they host Colorado (2-2, 0-2).